Men's Volleyball's Historic Run Ends in NCAA Quarterfinals

Men's Volleyball's Historic Run Ends in NCAA Quarterfinals

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Junior Joe Norman (Bay Shore, N.Y.) recorded 14 kills and served there aces to help pace the SUNY New Paltz men's volleyball team to its 30th straight win as the top-ranked and top-seeded Hawks rallied to defeat Wentworth Institute of Technology, 3-1 in an NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Quarterfinal played at Kidera Gymnasium.

With the win the Hawks (31-2) advance to tomorrow's national semifinal match against either Rutgers-Newark or Stevens at 4:00 p.m. Wentworth, making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, sees its season end with a record of 23-9. This was just the second time this season the leopards lost after taking the opening set (19-2).

Wentworth took a 2-0 lead after junior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) served a pair of aces, however a kill from Norman and a ball handling error evened the score at 2-all to start the opening set. The teams traded points until the Leopards took a 7-4 lead after an ace. Wentworth took an 8-5 lead after a service error and led 9-6 before the Hawks cut the lead to 9-8 on a block from junior C.J. Borfitz (Borforth, N.Y.). Reed's third ace of the set made it 11-8 and an attack error pushed the lead to 12-8. Wentworth led 14-9 before New Paltz responded scored three straight points, including two on service aces. The Leopard lead would fluctuate between one and three before a pair of attack errors made it 20-16 and forced the Hawks into a timeout. A senior Christopher Husmann (Massapequa, N.Y.) kill made it 20-17, however kills from junior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) and Reed made it 22-18. A Hawk attack error pushed the score to 23-18. Reed's fourth ace of the set pushed it set point and a kill from Potts gave Wentworth the 25-19 win in the opening set. Wentworth hit .538 in the opening frame with Reed's four kills and four aces leading the way.

The second set saw the score tied 11 times in the early going as neither team was able to establish a rhythm and exchanged points throughout. A sophomore Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) ace and an attack error gave Wentworth a 13-11 lead, however a service error and kill tied the score for the 12th time at 13-all and the run was extended into the technical timeout as the Hawks' Andy Fishman (Cornwallville, N.Y.) recorded a kill and made it 15-13. New Paltz increased its lead to 17-14 on a junior Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) kill, however a pair of quick Wentworth points made it 17-16. A Norman kill made it 18-17 before a service error brought the Black & Gold back within one. Norman recorded two more kills to extend the lead to 20-17 and forced Wentworth to use a timeout. Out of the kill, Potts recorded a kill and a net violation made it 20-19. Anthony Bonilla's kill made it 21-19 and an attack error upped the lead to 22-19. Mullen brought Wentworth to 22-20 and Mussman made it 23-20 with a kill. A ball handling error gave New Paltz set point at 24-20 and Bonilla evened the match with a 25-20 win.

Both teams hit well in the second frame as the Hawks hit .591 and the Leopards .423. Norman had five kills for the Hawks and Reed and sophomore Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) had four each for Wentworth.

Fishman kicked off the third set with a kill which was followed by an attack error, however Potts put Wentworth on the board with a kill of his own. Back-to-back aces by Bonilla pushed the lead to 7-3 as a part of a 5-1 run which would force Wentworth into a timeout at 8-3. An attack error and a Potts block made it 8-5. Woessner and Fishman combined for a block to make it 10-6 and Roat kill closed the gap to 11-8. A pair of quick points by the Hawks upped the lead to 13-8, however Wentworth responded with two points of its own to cut the lead to 13-10 on a Roat kill. Three straight New Paltz points – including two on aces – made it 16-10 and a Bonilla kill forced the Leopards to take their second timeout of the set, trailing 17-10. The run was extended to 7-1 before a serving violation would make it 19-11. Reed and sophomore Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) combined on a block to make it 19-12, however the lead increased to 22-12 after a Norman kill and a pair of attack errors. A Reed kill made it 23-14, however Woessner recorded a kill to make it set point. Reed staved off set point with a kill but a service error ended the set at 25-15.

The Hawks hit .364 in the set with Norman and Bonilla recording three kills each and Husmann having two blocks. Wentworth was held to .000. Roat and Reed had three kills each in the set.

Reed and Oshman opened the fourth set combining for a block, however a service error evened the score at 1-all and started a 4-0 spurt and have New Paltz a 4-1 lead. A service error and a Reed kill made it 4-3 however Wentworth gave a point back on a service error. Four straight Hawk points upped the lead to 8-3 before a service error ended the spurt. A Boniila kill and Norman ace made it 10-4 before Potts put down a kill to make it 10-5 and an attack error made it 10-6. Woessner and senior Christian Smith (Massapequa, N.Y.) combined for a block to up the lead to 14-7, however blocks from Mullen and Oshman and Reed and Oshman pulled Wentworth within five at 14-9. A Smith kill made it 15-9 at the technical timeout. Out of the break, Roat made it 15-10 with a kill and senior Ryan Motyl (Westford, Mass.) served an ace to make it 15-11. New Paltz responded with a kill from Smith, however Reed answered with a kill of his own to keep it a four-point game and a net violation made it 16-13. A Normal kill and a Husman block pushed the lead to 18-13 and an attack error forced Wentworth into its first timeout of the set, trailing 19-13. Wentworth closed the gap to 20-15 on a Reed kill and a Roat kill made it 20-16. Bonilla and Fishman had back-to-back kills to make it 22-16 and Fishman added another kill to make it 23-16. Mullen ended the run with a kill (23-17), however Husmann recorded a kill to set up match point and a net violation ended the match.

Wentworth was forced to hit .115 in the third set while New Paltz hit .303.

Bonilla added a dozen kills and seven digs while Husmann had five kills and five blocks. Fisman finished with nine kills and three aces, Woessner had six kills and two blocks, and Smith had 40 assists.

Reed finished with 15 kills, four aces, and three blocks to pace Wentworth. Roat had 10 kills and two blocks, Potts had six kills, Mullen had five kills, three aces, and a block, Oshman had four blocks, and sophomore Kevin McPeek (Bethlehem, Pa.) had 33 assists.